Privacy policy

Southern Cross Care (Vic) is committed to protecting the personal and health information of its clients, staff and others that it collects, holds and uses in accordance with the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 (and the Australian Privacy Principles made under that Act) and the Victorian Health Records Act 2001 (and the Health Privacy Principles made under that Act).

Please note, the following privacy policy refers to and identifies Mercy Health in recognition of the partnership between our organisations.

Personal information collected by Mercy Health

Mercy Health collects personal information in order to provide home care services. Mercy Health collects personal information about you that is necessary to provide its services. If there is information about you that you do not want collected, please tell us. This may affect the fees and charges you are required to pay and the care and services we provide. We will discuss with you any other consequences that failing to provide this information may have.

Mercy Health usually collects the following kinds of information about clients:

  • name, address, telephone number and date of birth;
  • health information, including information provided by GPs, specialists and hospitals;
  • carer details;
  • next of kin or preferred contact person;
  • financial information such as income, expenses and pension status.

Personal information may also be collected by Mercy Health for:

  • managing complaints or responding to inquiries;
  • responding to requests for access to information;
  • fundraising activities.

It is our usual practice to collect personal information directly from clients or their carer.

Sometimes we may collect personal information about clients from other people, such as GPs or an Aged Care Assessment Team.

How Mercy Health uses personal information

We use personal information for the purpose for which it was collected. We may also use personal information for related purposes such as internal administration purposes, training, assessments and reviews or other purposes permitted by law.

Personal information that Mercy Health gives to others

Mercy Health may disclose personal information about clients to assist with their care. Examples include giving information to:

  • third parties who are involved in the provision of our services, including sub-contractors;
  • a client’s GP, specialist or other health care provider;
  • a hospital where a client is being treated.

We are also required by law to disclose certain information, such as to the Commonwealth Department responsible for aged care services.

How Mercy Health stores and protects personal information

Personal information is stored in paper or electronic records. Information may be stored off-site by approved providers. Mercy Health does not store information overseas.

Mercy Health protects the personal information it collects. Some of the ways that Mercy Health seeks to protect personal information include:

  • confidentiality requirements on the use of information by Mercy Health employees and contractors;
  • relevant workplace policy and procedures;security measures to prevent unauthorised access to our computer systems; and
  • controlling access to record storage areas.

How you can access and correct your personal information

You have a right to request access to your personal information held by Mercy Health. You can also ask us to correct that information if you believe it to be inaccurate or out of date.

If you wish to make such a request, please speak to a staff member or write directly to the relevant home care office (see How to contact us below).

All requests require proof of identity or authority.

How to make a complaint

If you have a complaint about our management of your personal information, please speak to one of our staff.

If you would like to make a written complaint, please ask a staff member for a feedback form or address your concerns to our Privacy Officer (see How to contact us below).

Once we receive your complaint we follow our feedback process.

If you prefer, or if you are not satisfied with the handling or outcome of your complaint by Mercy Health, you may choose to lodge your complaint with an external complaint body such as:

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
Tel: 1800 550 552
Website: www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au

Australian Information Commissioner
Tel: 1300 363 992
Website: www.oaic.gov.au

Before making a complaint to an external complaint body, please visit their website or contact them for information about their complaints management process.